Why Vegetarian

why vegetarian ?

I choose not to eat meat, poultry, fish. That is a personal choice based on my own personal reasons. Yet, if I was going to eat meat… I would eat elk, deer, bear, antelope and moose. But , “Wait…” you say… “that is still meat. What’s the difference? Meat is still meat!”

On one hand you would be right. Yet, the differences are there… and show up in the flesh.

You have just dined,
and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed
in the graceful distance of miles,
there is complicity.


Ralph Waldo Emerson “Fate”, The Conduct
of Life, 1860

“In the US we have big corporations that raise a lot of our meat… be it beef, poultry or pork. These animals are contained in lots, in pens; where space is a premium. These animals are kept together in cramped quarters; they often live in their feces, have unmedicated sores or other health problems, or live in cages that are stacked cage upon cage. They often live with a dead animal or two as well. Babies are weaned very early… either headed for an early death or a cage with others the same age. Animals are fed hormone- and antibiotic-fortified feed. How healthy is that for them… or for you?

The vast majority of meat, milk, and eggs in America comes from factory farms, which hardly resembles bucolic family farms many Americans envision their food comes from. Instead, they are part of ‘agribusiness,’ where animals are mass produced for the slaughter house. And in the agribusiness, financial profitability takes priority over treating animals humanely.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (VA), 5/20/03

Then there is the trip to the slaughter house… where animals are crammed into trailers… and only the strongest survive the trip. The weak end up as bloody masses on the trailer floor. One time, I saw a double decker trailer full of horses heading to slaughter , over turn. Have you ever heard a horse scream in pain? A foal neighing in panic only to be drowned out by the rest of the horses scrambling to get to their feet? How many broken legs? It did not really matter since as long as they had 3 they could still stand til they arrived at the slaughter house. Animals are shot in the head with a bolt that is suppose to stun them. Stun them? Maybe… but it sure doesn’t stop them from feeling… horses are raised up… tied by their back leg…. throats slashed.
Captive bolt stunning – A “pistol” is set against the animal’s head and a metal rod is thrust into the brain. Shooting a struggling animal is difficult, and the rod often misses its mark.

Electric stunning – Current produces a grand mal seizure; then the throat is cut. According to industry consultant Temple Grandin, PhD, “Insufficient amperage can cause an animal to be paralyzed without losing sensibility.”

Ritual slaughter – Animals are fully conscious when their carotid arteries are cut. This is supposed to cause unconsciousness within seconds, but because of blood flow through the vertebral arteries in the back of the neck, some animals can remain conscious as they bleed for up to a minute. Additionally, Temple Grandin, PhD notes “Unfortunately, there are some plants which use cruel methods of restraint such as hanging live animals upside down.” This can cause broken bones as the heavy animal hangs by a chain attached to one leg.

Each year, large numbers of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese reach the scalding tanks alive and are either boiled to death or drowned. How clean is that scalding water? Are they in there long enough to truly kill the germs? *

So what is the difference between domesticated animals and wild game?

Wild game lives in a natural state of being. They are not force fed drugs. They are not living their whole lives in nasty environments, or tortured on the path to death. Hunters generally shoot them and that’s that. I know some hunters occasionally need to take a couple of shots. But, they do not drag out the killing. Unlike some of the people who upon slaughtering cows… often find the cows to be alive when their legs are being cut off. Good hunters are humane. And the telling difference? Is in the taste and smell of the meat.

The question is not,
Can they reason? nor,
Can they talk? but,
Can they suffer?


Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals & Legislation, 1789

*Why vegan

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5 thoughts on “Why Vegetarian

  1. I am one to dig my head into the sand about things like this… well at least I am honest! lol I think its great that there are people like you out there spreading the word! It at least makes people like me take note.

    My daughter (11) is on day 5 of being a vegitarian. I totally support her efforts(down to my going out and getting her special vitamins) and the thought process behind it… I have made her stop wearing leather though… I cant stand it when people who rave about the injustice then wear leather etc… Its kinda like priests preaching abstinence and having sex with young boys.. just my opinion…

  2. Well, a lot of us are vegetarian and not vegan…there are different thoughts as some are lactose free .. or ovo lacto vegetarians.

    How is she taking it?

    Any of the steps will make a person healthier – I blogged at Something to Talk About that addresses what’s in milk… I’m not sure if I posted it here as well.. I was trying to decide if the sister blogs were better off reflecting different aspects. This one on animal welfare – the other on health and diet. So much of the posts are related.

    I chose not to eat meat originally as a child too… after my father butchered a hog in our back yard on the picnic table.
    Then occasionally I would eat meat until I stopped all together. First it was due to the cruelty of the slaughter houses. But the final point was when the neighbor’s puppy was hit by a speeding truck.. and I had to clean up the scattered remains. Her flesh looked just like raw chicken pieces. I buried her in the woods….threw up, cried and cried and refused to talk to the neighbor or anyone for days. I blamed her for being irresponsible. And I wanted to kick her ass for boo hooing about “my poor puppy”. Because it wasn’t her first puppy, nor the first, nor second or even third animal she lost through her irresponsibility.

    I think that we have our personal reasons for choosing to be vegetarian.. Cruelty , the pain and suffering….the bad taste, smell of meat…. it all adds up to being wrong for us.

    I appreciate that you are the type of mum that lets her daughter explore. The world needs people like you. Both of my daughters are meat eaters. One of my granddaughters doesn’t. People have the right to make their own choices when it comes down to personal decisions.

    I say kudos to your daughter! 🙂

  3. Thank You Katie!!!

    This is a very well-written explanation and more should read it!
    I think this is absolutely the best reasons I ever have heard. You think both of our nature and the suffering we expose our cousins for.

    (( Love ))

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